Friday, November 18, 2011
1 year on... Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake
flourless choc almond cake, dark choc ice cream, nuts and cookie crumble, caramelized cinnamon apples, bits of spring flowers.
I've always been enamored by food - pictures, blogs, places, tastes and flavors. It's an understatement, really, and can't say anything else to bring home this fact further, but these 4 words - I really love food. When I'm studying, I'm thinking of what my next meal would be. When I'm surfing the net, there will invariably be at least 2 open tabs on my laptop with either a recipe or a cafe address. When I'm not eating, I'm thinking about what food to cook, and where to go to eat. When I'm eating, I'm savoring each bite and dissecting what I'm eating in order to learn from it and make my next attempt taste even better. My friends who know me, actually know the look on my face when I'm thinking of food.
One year ago, I started this little blog as an experiment. I wanted to log down the food that I've attempted and share the good ones with my friends. Hence the name, "Share the love. Share the calories".
with a deconstructed eton mess of honey lemon mascarpone, crumbled meringue, kiwi and goji berries. and a quenelle of milk chocolate ice cream
And how things have changed 1 year on!
It turned out to be more than a simple holiday project that I initially envisioned. Granted, I didn't share the love as regularly as I should've, but this blog has taken me on a journey of self-learning and self-discovery.
I've learned so much more nuances about food and ingredients, of herbs and spices, of flavors and pairings. I've learned so much about food photography, food styling, and plating up. I've discovered a new joy in life, a new outlook to dining, and a new hobby. Most importantly, I realized that I love cooking simply because I cook for the people that I care about. Nothing makes me happier than waking up earlier than everyone just to make sure some food is ready to be served on the table when everyone is ready to eat.
The shaping process is gradual but on-going. There are times when new perceptions and emotions just explode and leaves me wondering a fair bit. Surely we've all been there, the "what the hell was I thinking/doing?!" stage and I can only hope that I have become a better person than I was yesterday.
I've changed the title of my blog, because I was inspired by those very lyrics from Tim Kay. Take time to make yourself feel good. Yeah.. Only after recently hearing these words, did I also just experience another wave of new emotion and perspective. And I hope to share this new change with everyone who is reading. Take time to make yourself feel good. Make the people you care for feel good too.
with orange mousse and caramelized orange
I've chosen this recipe for a number of reasons. CK and I visited Spaghi's recently with J and ZX and was COMPLETELY disappointed by their flourless chocolate cake. Also, when I first saw this recipe on The Little Teochew's blog, I favorited it straightaway. Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake. Come on, such a recipe name is just a WIN in my books. Flourless? CHOCOLATE?! ALMOND!! Also, CK loves chocolate and has a mini addiction to snacking on almonds. Perfect!! =D
The resultant cake was just too good. It was dark, decadent, deep and downright delicious. The texture was amazing as well. It was firm, but melted in the mouth like mousse. It wasn't overly sweet and that left room for the dark chocolate to shine through in its decadence.
200g dark, bitter chocolate (the best that you've got! I got a secret stash of Green and Black's 80% chocolate underneath all the boxes in the pantry. Shhh..)
1 tbsp strong espresso coffee
1 tbsp rum or brandy (I used Tia Maria. And accidentally tipped in a drizzle. Felt like Jamie Oliver with his olive oil usage for 2 seconds)
150g caster sugar (I reduced the sugar to 130g and used raw sugar instead)
150g unsalted butter
100g almond meal
5 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt (wasn't in the original recipe though but it tasted awesome.)
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg! Melt the chocolate, coffee, rum or brandy, sugar and butter and salt in a bowl sitting in a pot of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir until well mixed. Alternatively, you could also microwave and stirring the chocolate and butter in 12 second episodes until it has all melted before incorporating the rest of the ingredients. Then, add all the ground almonds and all the egg yolks until well mixed.
2. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, before gently folding in the rest until batter is uniform.
3. Pour the batter into a prepared tin and bake for 40 - 50 minutes. I went for 45 minutes and had a balance of cakey and fudgey. Less minutes if you want fudgey, more if you want cakey!
Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D
1. Use your best tasting chocolate. And don't lick the spoon whilst mixing. Thats unhygienic yo! *grins
2. Eat it at room temperature for all its mousse-like glory.
3. Make it, and make someone feel good. Or at least feel shiok.